Tiger Woods returned to golf at the Hero World Challenge in December, yet his appearance this week at the Farmers Insurance Open marks his first official PGA Tour event in 18 months. Up the road at Riviera Country Club to promote the upcoming Genesis Open, the 14-time major winner admitted to feeling some butterflies as he prepares to tee it up at Torrey Pines.
“I’m always nervous when I play, because that means I care," Woods said. "I’m looking forward to competing against these guys. I’m very excited about getting started on the season. I’m coming back on one of my favorite venues.”
The 41 year old definitely has felt at home at Torrey Pines with eight wins at the venue, including the 2008 U.S. Open. Still, after a promising performance at the Hero, there are still plenty of questions surrounding Woods, including his health. This will be under the spotlight as Woods plans on playing four tournaments in the next five weeks.
However, Woods confirmed he's feeling up to the challenge.
"I’ve played a lot (since the Hero), probably four or five times a week," Woods stated. "I played over the holidays. I’ve had a fun time preparing for this event and I’m looking forward to it. I sat out long enough.
"I feel good about my health, I just need to get out there and do it. I feel like I’m strong enough to handle the workload.”
And though Woods is concentrating on this week, he remarked that another green jacket is not far from his mind.
“I’ve been thinking about it,” Woods said about the Masters. “Once the season ends, typically, in the fall, I start thinking about what I need to do to get ready for Augusta. I’ve done it for 20 years. Whether it’s equipment or it’s swing or whatever it is, in the back of my head I’m getting ready for Augusta."
Woods' last PGA Tour event was the 2015 Wyndham Championship, where he finished 10th.